Identity (Salinor the beginnings Book 2) a fantasy. Copyright, published and written by Samuel Alexander.
Plot/characters: The ethereally described world of Salinor, after twice putting down tyrannical magician leaders through valiant action of the Alliance composed of non-magicians, again appears to be facing the rise of still another. Drak, the next in line, is a young student of Shalini, a powerful magician from the first book in the series, who has decided to teach the nation’s youth. Through circuitous routes from shared dreams and contacts and subsequent consultation with an eminent seer, word is beginning to spread that the perpetrator will be the bad brother of Lynton, a most well-liked, honorable young man who has been informed he must kill this brother instead of attempting to reform him. He cannot bring himself to kill his own brother and the situation begins to escalate. It is foretold that all of the royal family will be killed and it becomes incumbent upon two of Drak’s class mates, Tilal and Janon, who seem to be amazingly advanced in their magical ability, to protect him. Simultaneously, Cherann, a soldier who has taken a year off to properly train her young brother, Dent, along with Lela the powerful Seer, her sister Shalini and Lynton who we have learned has special powers as the son of the all-powerful dwarfs, proceed with their counteractions to the impending disaster. The plot gradually advances to chaotic levels. The newly led Alliance once more arises and the resulting battles produce wide-spread death and destruction. Tilal becomes a mighty woman warrior and Drak also performs heroic feats. Janon has become a most important and in-demand healer and admires them both. However, as with the protagonists in book one, he also is interested, and increasingly frustrated that his pursuit of a more intimate relationship with Drak is not proceeding in accord with his desires, begins to become a problem, and this volume, as volume one, ‘ends without an ending.’
Discussion: As I said in reviewing the first volume, the author certainly demonstrates a highly imaginative and creative mind and has a fine understanding of the English language. Further, the verbalization flows better in this second book. However once again. the plot and general features of presentation provide a considerably negative reaction. The former is barely discernable and its destination is questionable. The characterization is minimal, they act little and engage in lengthy discussion, often without proper identification, so that the speaker frequently is questionable. Much description is set forth on the various sections of ‘the world’ and the racial differences in appearance and proclivities. Granted, it is interesting but for the most part offers little to the plot. This second in the series stands alone with little brought over from the first book except for the same problem and a couple of characters. But, this also provides another unfortunate feature, at least from this reviewer’s perspective. So much of the first book was projected onto the importance of a prophecy and the part that was to be played especially by one of the protagonist, it was assumed that Book 2 would continue to pursue this thread. Instead, the protagonists have disappeared, except for provision of the missing protagonist’s name being provided as the place of residence of a young boy in this volume. Apparently the prophecy, even though the basis for the first book was not that important?
Conclusion: For the first book in this series was: “A fantasy of possibly epic proportions that no doubt will appeal to readers closely attuned to the genre. Existing problems have been enumerated for others than those so dedicated. The next volume, of course, hopefully will correct many of these features.”
Regrettably, few problems have been eliminated, and several new have been added. Thus, it is conceivable that fantasy devotees probably still may enjoy this second volume, but it sincerely is questionable whether even they will be enthralled.
3* Possibly more for fantasy devotees; questionable level, as described.